Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Two Die from Anthrax in Sinazongwe District


Southern Province health officials have reported two casualties from anthrax in Sinazongwe district. Health Surveillance Officer Mwaka Ngwama confirmed that the two individuals lost their lives at Maamba General Hospital, raising concerns about the ongoing anthrax outbreak in the region.

Ngwama disclosed that Sinazongwe District has recorded a staggering 186 cumulative cases of anthrax, making it a dire public health crisis. Among these cases, 122 people are currently undergoing treatment, while 66 have been discharged over time.

These revelations came to light during a One Health Technical Working Group meeting held to address the anthrax outbreak. Presenting a comprehensive report to the working group, Ms. Ngwama emphasized that the disease had spread extensively across the district. Consequently, a series of preventive measures were being implemented to contain the outbreak.

To curb the spread of anthrax, health officials have initiated spot check inspections at various checkpoints. During these inspections, dried meat suspected to be contaminated was confiscated, and those responsible were placed in police custody.

The gravity of the situation prompted the Sinazongwe Town Council to take decisive action. In an official notice dated October 17th, 2023, and signed by Council Secretary Choolwe Maunga, the council ordered the immediate closure of all butcheries and slaughterhouses within the district. Furthermore, the transportation of meat within and outside the district has been strictly banned. The council’s notice also warned that any breach of this order would result in legal action against the responsible individuals.

The local authorities have sought to reassure the people of Sinazongwe by emphasizing their commitment to resolving the crisis. They are working closely with relevant authorities to ensure the situation is brought under control.

Expressing deep concern over the anthrax situation, Sinazongwe District Commissioner Nchimunya Siakole described the outbreak as dangerous due to the high number of infections affecting the local population. The district faces a daunting challenge in managing the outbreak and preventing further loss of life.


  1. This is due to ignorance of the existence of microscopic lifeforms and the disease-causing capacity of some of them. In other words, it is due basic scientific illiteracy. It’s really sad because Zambia has been teaching science and engineering for over half a century now. Basic knowledge of things scientific needs to trickle down to the village and impact on people’s beliefs and practices instead of holding on to beliefs in the supernatural. Totally avoidable loss of life in a province with some of Zambia’s most enlightened citizens.

  2. The government is at fault for not employing the necessary officers who can effectively monitor and disseminate information to a large portion of our illiterate rural citizens. Public health officers, veterinary extension officers, Agronomists who engage with people in remote rural areas, are not being hired. Instead of focusing on sensitization and prevention, all that the IMF has done is advise the government to hire only teachers and nurses who react to problems. The government should also employ all the relevant officers, or they will have to face the consequences.


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